With constantly increasing energy prices, keeping your home cooled or heated throughout the year can be an expensive undertaking. This leads to most people looking for ways to reduce their heating and cooling costs. One such option that many homeowners turn to is closing the vents in upstairs rooms or other parts of the home that aren’t used as often. While this may sound like a good solution, the truth is that keeping some of your vents closed won’t save you any money. In fact, it is much more likely to end up costing you more money in the long run, both in terms of energy usage and also increased repair costs. To understand why, it is important to look at what happens in an HVAC system when some vents are closed.
How Closing Your Vents Affects Your HVAC System
Maintaining the correct amount of pressure inside an HVAC system is vital to it functioning properly. If any of the supply vents are closed or if the supply or return air vents are obstructed, it causes a pressure imbalance inside the system. When the pressure inside the system rises, it leads to a restriction in airflow. This means that the air handler has to work harder to circulate air throughout the ductwork. The lack of proper airflow also means that the furnace or air conditioner will have to run more frequently to maintain the temperature inside the home. In turn, this pressure imbalance can lead to all of the following problems.
Damaged HVAC Equipment
One of the biggest issues with closing some of your vents is that it can damage or ruin your HVAC equipment. The fact that the system will need to work harder and run more frequently means increased wear and tear on its components. This can lead to more frequent and potentially more costly repairs and also shorten the lifespan of your furnace, AC, and other equipment. Closing the vents can be especially problematic for your cooling system as it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. If you try to run the system when it is frozen, the motor in the condenser unit can quickly overheat and burn out, and this problem can only be fixed by replacing the entire unit.
Increased Energy Costs
The fact that your system has to run more often also means that you will end up paying much more to heat and cool your home than you would if you kept all of the vents open. Your HVAC system is designed and sized to meet your home’s heating and cooling needs in the most efficient way possible. If you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, the only effective option is to replace your furnace or AC with a more energy-efficient unit.
Ruptured Ductwork and Air Leaks
The added pressure inside the system that occurs when you close some of the vents can also cause the ductwork to rupture or blow out. If the ductwork already has any leaks or holes, the increased pressure will also force more air out of these leaks. This means that much of the air will escape before reaching every room in the home. All of these issues will make it more difficult to properly heat and cool the home, and it will also greatly increase your energy costs. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that around 20% to 30% of the energy used to heat or cool the average home is wasted due to ductwork leaks.
Uneven Heating and Cooling
Closing the vents also often leads to uneven heating and cooling or some rooms of the house being much hotter or colder than others. The reason is that the increased pressure will force more heated or cooled air into the rooms closest to the air handler, which usually doesn’t leave enough airflow to heat or cool the rooms further away.
Condensation and Mold Growth
Closing your vents can also cause condensation to form inside the ductwork and potentially allow mold to start growing. When all of the vents are closed, the constant airflow helps to ensure the ducts stay dry and free from condensation. However, if you close the vents and block off the air to some parts of the system, the moisture won’t be able to escape and can begin to condense inside the vents due to the temperature difference between the ducts and the air around them.
Professional HVAC Solutions and Services
If you find yourself experiencing any issues with your home’s heating or cooling system, the technicians at R.J. Groner Inc. can help you overcome them and ensure your home stays comfortable all year long. We can also evaluate your home and maintain your HVAC system to ensure everything is working as efficiently as it should be. We work on all makes, models, and types of heating and cooling equipment, and we carry a wide selection of new furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and ductless systems from top brands. Our team of professional plumbers can also work on your water heater, pipes, and plumbing fixtures. We have been providing exceptional HVAC and plumbing services to customers in Stroudsburg and the surrounding areas for more than 70 years, and we always provide free estimates on all services. To gather more information or schedule a service appointment, give us a call at R.J. Groner Inc. today.